Beer Reviews: Most Recent

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Wolters Black Beer
Wolters Black Beer

Hofbrauhaus Wolters GmbH
Schwarzbier / 4.90% ABV

3.37/5  rDev -0.9% | Avg: 3.4
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

He often refers to me as "The CANmander of The CANQuest (tm)" or variations on that theme, but my local, in-person trader, tone77, is no slouch in the CANned beer department, either. This was out of one of his drop-offs & with tomorrow's pending solar eclipse, I am making this my seCANd entry in Happy Preparation for Tomorrow's Solar Eclipse New Beer Sunday (Week 652)!

From the CAN: "Premium Beer Imported from Germany"; "Brewing Tradition Since 1627"; "Nec Aspera Terrent"; "Immota Fides"; "Product of Germany"; "Brewed in Strict Accordance to the German Purity Law"; "Beer - Birra - Cerveza - Cerveja - Biere - [Cyrillic] - Alus - Bere - Olu".

I am really starting to embrace today's all-Black and Dark Sunday! It doesn't hurt that I have lots of CANs to get me through the coming CANpocalypse & so it CANtinues with the Crack! of a more reasonable 500-ml CAN. The Glug was neither gentle nor inverted, but a purposeful pour to raise two fingers of foamy, soapy, light-tan head with decent retention. Color was Very Dark Brown to Black/Opaque (SRM = > 34, < 44), allowing just enough light to penetrate to reveal mahogany highlights. Nose was slightly sour with notes of dried, dark fruits. Hmm. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium, not watery, but not much beyond it, either. I am just loath to hang a "watery" tag on a beer unless it is truly that thin & this did not meet that criteria. The taste was slightly roasty, lightly smoky, but it lacked any Ooomph! & the dark fruitiness of the nose was not evident. Aww. Finish was semi-dry, but mostly just innocuous. It was okay, but not worth seeking out or returning to.

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Syndicate No. 3
Syndicate No. 3

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
American Double / Imperial Stout / 10.50% ABV

4.25/5  rDev -1.8% | Avg: 4.33
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Multiple beers aged and blended together over time; bourbon is apparent- well balanced given the number of beers. A very nice after dinner beer. 5/13/17

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Untitled Art/3 Sons Oaxacan Stout
Untitled Art/3 Sons Oaxacan Stout

Untitled Art
American Double / Imperial Stout / 13.00% ABV

4.36/5  rDev 0% | Avg: 4.36
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12oz bottle into small tulip. It is coffee black with a very nice, dense dark tan, 1.5 finger head. The cap fades slowly into a collar and beautiful webbed lacing clings to my glass. Very nice aroma of cocoa, cinnamon, roasted malt and dark chocolate. Flavor is a bit better with the cinnamon and pepper adding depth to all the cocoa and chocolate notes. It is not too bold nor spicy for me. A very smooth, sublime, medium mouth feel with soft carbonation. This was really well done and is the real deal. I wonder if any was set aside to age in bourbon barrels?

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Leaf Storm
Leaf Storm

Relic Brewing Co
American IPA / 6.20% ABV

3.75/5  rDev -10.3% | Avg: 4.18
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can poured into glass. Funkiness to nose; leaf mold?! Just say'in...soft fruits on front of palate with slight bitterness at back. Different! 5/12/17

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Fresh
Fresh

Civil Society Brewing
American IPA / 6.20% ABV

4.09/5  rDev -0.7% | Avg: 4.12
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a growler to a pint glass. Had a yellow-orange color and an incredibly thick, cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A good aroma of hops, light tropical fruit, and citrus fruit.

T: Tasted of an abundance of citrus fruit (grapefruit, in particular), a fair amount of hops (less than some IPAs), light malt notes, and a lot of tropical fruit (mango). A sweet, fruit-forward flavor that does its best to evoke Florida's climate. Could have used a slight push in the hops category, but it's still very tasty.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a very smooth finish. Light-bodied.

O: This is an immensely likable and drinkable beer. Good for the hot summer months.

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Hop Stimulator
Hop Stimulator

Funky Buddha Brewery
American Double / Imperial IPA / 9.50% ABV

4.5/5  rDev +11.1% | Avg: 4.05
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another really nice beer by FB! Well balanced with hoppy bitters easing on palate. Can poured into tumbler due to pool side. a Very enjoyable! 5/12/17

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Vive Bruxelles
Vive Bruxelles

Cambridge Brewing Company
Flanders Red Ale / 6.80% ABV

4.09/5  rDev -1.2% | Avg: 4.14
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a recently purchased bottle into the De La Senne glass.
A - Dark copper, mahogany color, active carbonation crackled as it poured into the glass topping out with a towering froth. The cap quick to dissipate is followed by a thin but well supported ring.
Nice clarity allows for the full display of the interplay of carbonation unbound.
S - Dark cherry skins, oak, red wine, notes of shade tobacco, berry puree, as the offering warms more subtle elements like fig and lily sneak in.
T - Complex, strong cherry presence, black currant jam, sweet malts followed by leather and oak, mixed cultures keep the taste focused
M - Wow, walk off tartness strips the palate in quick action, recovered with a touch of sweet center followed by a delightfully dry and slightly tart finish. Light in body and well carbonated the offering is delightful on the palate
O - That's a fine how do you do! The Flanders style on full display, the tartness starts aggressive then settles in nicely. Rich flavors roll out slowly with a rise in temperature, Cherry, currant, toasted oak, burgundy wine, and dark grains.

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Rumpshaker IPA
Rumpshaker IPA

Pearl Street Brewery
American IPA / 5.70% ABV

3.79/5  rDev -1% | Avg: 3.83
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Lots a flotaties! Light fruity nose follows right into the taste. Very light bitterness left on the toung. Kind of crushable. It didn't Wrekx-N-Effex my pallet, but I did zoom-a-zoom zoom right through this one!

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Master Shredder ³
Master Shredder ³

The Veil Brewing Co.
American IPA / 5.50% ABV

3.75/5  rDev -11.1% | Avg: 4.22
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Without reading the ABV but being a triple hopped brew, I expected a punch in the mouth. This is a really nice session beer. Enjoyable with Siobhan fruits. 5/12/17

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Strawberry Margarita Popsicle
Strawberry Margarita Popsicle

The Answer Brewpub
Gose / 3.50% ABV

4.25/5  rDev 0% | Avg: 4.28
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Had this beer on-tap at The Answer Brewpub, poured into a snifter glass. Had a reddish color and thick consistency. Kind of looked like a smoothie. There was a quarter inch of off white, foamy, fairly long-lasting head.

S: An interesting aroma of strawberries, sea salt, and citrus fruit.

T: Tasted of the typical gose saltiness (quite evident in the finish), a lot of strawberries, a hint of wheat (not that much), and lots of citrus (lemon, lime, orange). An extremely fruit-centric flavor that's light and playful. It does taste like a margarita (to an extent) and is extremely lively.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a somewhat slick finish. Light-bodied.

O: If you're a gose purist, you might want to avoid this one. Everyone else should give it a try.

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Mad Manatee IPA
Mad Manatee IPA

Bold City Brewery
American IPA / 6.50% ABV

3.5/5  rDev -1.4% | Avg: 3.55
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mad Manatee by Bold City Brewery at Amelia Island Plantation - The Falcon's Nest

Descent IPA; malty with nice hops flavor. Would have been better in tap instead of poured into plastic cup. Sorry, but was pool side. 5/11/17

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Big Wonder
Big Wonder

Bellefonte Brewing Co.
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.00% ABV

4.13/5  rDev 0% | Avg: 4.13
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can poured into a tulip

A- A fairly clear golden orange with a small white head.

S- Tropical fruits, some stone fruit, caramel malts, piney.

T- Citrus, oranges, some tropical fruits, caramel malts, finish is piney with a touch of dankness.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- A solid, more traditional DIPA. The malt sweetness is too much and the hop linger in a good way.

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Gage Roads Pils
Gage Roads Pils

Gage Roads Brewing Company
German Pilsener / 3.50% ABV

3.96/5  rDev +19.6% | Avg: 3.31
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw filtered with slow rising bubbles, topped with 2 fingers of glassy white head.

Smells of malt, fresh hay, clean and crisp.

Taste follows the nose and is rich and complex for such a low abv.

Medium body, moderate carbonation.

In the fridge at our airbnb in Perth tonight, offered through our host. Drinking Aug 20, 2017.

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Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy
Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Fruit / Vegetable Beer / 4.20% ABV

3.5/5  rDev +11.8% | Avg: 3.13
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Summer Shandy by Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company at Salty Pelican Bar and Grill

Refreshing, easy on the palate summer beer. It drinks better when sitting on a coastal estuary eating fresh seafood! Add a slice of lemon; 5/11/17

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Mexican Phil B ! (Andall)
Mexican Phil B ! (Andall)

The Answer Brewpub
American Double / Imperial Stout / 11.50% ABV

4.5/5  rDev 0% | Avg: 4.5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Had this beer on-tap at The Answer Brewpub, poured into a snifter glass. Had a black color and a thick consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A big, powerful aroma of chocolate, coffee, malt, chili peppers, and vanilla.

T: Tasted of a good amount of coffee (mostly up front), some vanilla, tons of chocolate, a bit of malt, chili peppers (especially in the finish), a tinge of coconut, light hops, and spices. An incredibly complex and forceful flavor. The addition of chili peppers, which aren't overpowering, is a good choice.

F: A decent amount of carbonation with a lively finish. Full-bodied.

O: This is a well made, big stout. Lots of flavor and character here.

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Guayabera Citra Pale Ale
Guayabera Citra Pale Ale

Cigar City Brewing
American Pale Ale (APA) / 5.50% ABV

4.02/5  rDev -3.1% | Avg: 4.15
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cigar City Brewing Co. "Guayabera Citra Pale Ale"
$6/pint @ Union Tap House, Philadelphia, PA on 18 August 2017

Notes: Hazy straw-gold body beneath a two-finger thick head of white that settles slowly into a creamy cap. Excellent head retention and lacing. Citrusy/tropical in the nose with tangerine, pineapple, lime, melon... more. It's a little unusual at first, you have to give it a few sniffs. I wonder if there are other hops in here besides Citra. The flavor follows with a grainy malt base. Very firmly bitter, leading to a dry finish. Medium bodied and crisp. Refreshing and highly drinkable, and also somewhat unique.

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Double Dry Hopped Softly Spoken Magic Spells
Double Dry Hopped Softly Spoken Magic Spells

SingleCut Beersmiths
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.60% ABV

4.29/5  rDev +0.2% | Avg: 4.28
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Crowler from the Beer King in Middletown NY
Pours hazy copper golden with a brief finger's head, no lacing or ring of carbonation remaining.
Mellow melon and citrus aromas, a little sour peach or apricot.
Taste notes are blood orange, grapefruit, a little pepper.
Mellow feel, no astringency or alcohol burn. Low carbonation. Easy to guzzle if no self control is exercised.
A well crafted, enjoyable DIPA from a reliable brewery.

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Sump Coffee Stout - Adola Variant (2017)
Sump Coffee Stout - Adola Variant (2017)

Perennial Artisan Ales
American Double / Imperial Stout / 10.50% ABV

4.5/5  rDev +0.7% | Avg: 4.47
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into snifter. Thick viscosity, rich dark color. This is full body w/ Coffee on front that blooms on palate at back end. Lovely... 4/22/17

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Mounds Vesuvius (Andell)
Mounds Vesuvius (Andell)

The Answer Brewpub
American Double / Imperial Stout / 11.00% ABV

4.49/5  rDev +0.7% | Avg: 4.46
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Had this beer on-tap at The Answer Brewpub, poured into a snifter glass. Had a dark brown / black color and a thick texture. There was a thin, tan-colored head that quickly dissipated. Average lacing.

S: A very enticing aroma of coconut, chocolate, malt, and hops.

T: Tasted of a moderate amount of malt, a whole bunch of chocolate, a light hops presence (mostly in the finish), lots of coconut, and a tinge of coffee. An extremely big, complex, and likable flavor that really does taste like a Mounds bar. Gets better as it goes along.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a super smooth finish. Full-bodied.

O: The Answer has a gift for stouts and this is a good example of that. Well made and drinkable.

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Cosmik Debris
Cosmik Debris

Creature Comforts
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.30% ABV

4.5/5  rDev +0.4% | Avg: 4.48
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is not Space Dust! Modest hoppiness to the nose - medium body but well balanced. CC knows how to brew a solid IPA. Don't miss this one! 4/21/17.

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Third Orbit Anniversary Ale: Imperial Porter With Cherries
Third Orbit Anniversary Ale: Imperial Porter With Cherries

Ecliptic Brewing
American Porter / 9.00% ABV

3.5/5  rDev -5.1% | Avg: 3.69
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Beer O'clock the other day.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with decent head retention and lacing. On the nose I pick up licorice, burnt toast, vanilla and maybe a hint of cherries (according to the beer menu, this is a barrel aged porter with cherries). The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this dry roasty porter. Again, there's maybe a hint of cherries on the finish, but it's pretty subtle (same with the barrel aging). The beer is fairly light and dry on the finish, and alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile.

Shrug. For those who like the Capella porter from these guys, you'll probably like this beer as well. To me, it tastes very much like a slightly richer version of the Capella, with perhaps an additional hint of cherries. Maybe it's a style thing, but I've yet to have a porter from Ecliptic that I thought was anything to write home about.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager
Samuel Adams Black Lager

Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Schwarzbier / 4.90% ABV

4.06/5  rDev +8.6% | Avg: 3.74
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 2017 Fall Variety Pack. The side label has a notch over "JAN"

Appearance: The body of the beer is a dark brown color with a deep ruby red color as the light strikes it. Althought the beer is very dark it is still very apparent that the beer has nice clarity. It has a nice fluffy, creamy textured light khaki head that has good retention. It looks great.

Aroma: There is a light aroma of burnt wood, a very light touch of pine, and a burnt caramel aroma.

Taste: Up front there is a sweet caramel flavor with some toasted toffee. This flavor carries all the way to the back of the palate. There is a light bready flavor towards the end. It finishes very light with a bit of caramel at the end.

Mouthfeel: It has a light mouthfeel with just a touch of a bitter carbon character to balance out the malty sweetness. It is a very easy drinking beer.

Overall: This is a very impressive Schwarzbier. It is clean, well balanced, easy to drink, and very well made. It's the kind of beer you could enjoy multiples of. I would highly recommend it and I would buy it again.

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#Prairie Pride
#Prairie Pride

Tool Shed Brewing
Saison / Farmhouse Ale / 4.80% ABV

4.08/5  rDev +2.8% | Avg: 3.97
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is another beer that I've been really looking forward to, and I was not disappointed with the result. Milky in appearance, mildly tart, and incredibly refreshing. It is truly unique, and a great example of the innovation taking place in my home province's beer scene. I am a proud Albertan and this is a beer I am equally proud of.

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Mind Games (Triple Dry Hopped)
Mind Games (Triple Dry Hopped)

The Answer Brewpub
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.00% ABV

4.02/5  rDev -4.3% | Avg: 4.2
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Had this beer on-tap at The Answer Brewpub, poured into a snifter glass. Had a golden yellow color and a cloudy texture. There was a half inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Great lacing.

S: A nice aroma of hops, light fruit, malt, and pine.

T: Tasted of a hint of malt, a bit of citrus (lemon), lots of tropical fruit (mango, pineapple, in particular), some light pine notes, a big shot of hops (especially in the finish). This is an aggressive, fruity, enjoyable flavor. The hops content borders on excessive, but manages to be okay.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a somewhat bitter finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Mind Games is a solidly made, easy to drink DIPA. Tasty and drinkable.

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Wavvy (Batch 1)
Wavvy (Batch 1)

Stillwater Artisanal Ales
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.00% ABV

4.06/5  rDev -2.4% | Avg: 4.16
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Of Love and Regret.

Pours sunshiney yellow, very hazy, with a fluffy white head. By pour, it might have been classified as a New England pale, as it was filled with visible hop oils.

Smells of passion fruit and generic citrus hop. Very hop-heavy, but the hop profile is interesting and balanced enough to carry the aroma by itself.

Tastes like it smells: fruity, hop-forward, with just a bit of yeastiness at the end. Very drinkable in spite of its ABV.

It feels like I've said this a dozen times, but this is a good contemporary IPA that I probably would have considered world class in 2013, but now it's more or less indistinguishable from dozens of others in the same style: thick, fruity, hoppy.

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